Can Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF take 32GB of RAM or only 16GB?

folklorner79

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Sep 22, 2013
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Hello. I received a refurbished Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF as a Christmas gift and I am trying to optimize its hardware. I recently upgraded from 8GB to 16GB and I can see from various documents supplied by dell.com that my computer apparently has a maximum of only 16GB of RAM, however there is one owners manual titled: Dell Optiplex 9010/7010 Small Form Factor Owners Manual, a 59 page pdf file that seems to indicate that the 7010 SFF and 9010 SFF both have a max capacity of 32GB. I have also "confirmed" this from Dell "Technical Support".

I put the term confirmed in quotation marks because I have received differing opinions from more than one Dell technical support person whom I talked to. One said that my computer can only take 16 GB's RAM while two others told me that it can actually take 32GB's. So at this point I don't know what to believe. And unless that's the only difference, I cannot see anything different in the hardware configurations between the 7010 and 9010 Optiplex models. The only other meaningful change is the processor generally sold with the unit; aka core i5 vs. core i7.

It seems strange to me that there is more than one user manual for the 9010/7010 SFF Optiplex on the Dell website in pdf format. One is 59 pages and the other is 65 pages. I am curious which one was produced first. The "Dell Optiplex Technical Guidebook Ver. 1.2" which I also downloaded and is obviously specifically for the Optiplex 7010 (not including the 9010) shows a chart with all four sizes of Optiplex 7010; USFF, SFF(my model), DT, and MT. The total maximum RAM for all four shown there is only 16GB, and that chart shows that the only model of all 4 that can apparently take an 8GB stick is the ultra small form factor (USFF) and NOT any of the other three LARGER sizes. This seems a little ridiculous to me but whatever.

Trying to upgrade this computer has been a real challenge for me. I'm still not sure of the optimal video card to plug into it. I'm working on a budget and I'm not a gamer but that's a side issue in terms of the title of this posting. I did notice that there is at one seller on ebay with an optiplex 7010 listed with 32 GB's of RAM. I don't know that this confirms anything. He might think he has a 7010 but actually have a 9010 or something else.

I didn't mention this yet but I did a system scan on crucial.com, a site that sells computer system RAM which I'm sure many of you are familiar with, and they claimed that my computer could take 32 gigs after their automated diagnostics of my system. So at this point I don't know what to believe. There is too much contradictory information. I tend to believe printed documents over what somebody says because that tends to be more concrete and demanding of correctness.

Plus the reason why I put Dell "Technical Support" in quotation marks is that I have a serious lack of faith in people who are obviously outsourced overseas and who cannot think in English because they do not speak it as their first language. They are so culturally removed from western society that they cannot relate or sympathize with the needs or concerns of the American consumer. Whole other topic there but it's a huge factor in the faith I put in their "advice" and opinions. I take most everything they say with a grain of salt. I swear, premium American based customer service is worth every red cent.
 

folklorner79

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Sep 22, 2013
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Well luckily I do have Windows Pro so am I good to go? Why do you think dell.com has various documents with conflicting info? Also, I guess for other users, why is it that a lower version of windows wouldn't be able to recognize 32GB's of ram. What about Linux? I plan to partition my hard drive with linux as soon as I can figure out how on my own. I really don't care for windows anymore after using linux for the past few years on another computer that recently crashed.
 

folklorner79

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Sep 22, 2013
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I just called Discount Electronics in Austin, Texas; the company I got this computer from refurbished. I asked the guy I talked to if my 7010 SFF computer could take 32 gigs and explained my dilemma in dealing with dell tech support. He suggested that he could grab another 7010 off the floor and try putting 4 x 8GB sticks into it and see what happens. Sure enough, the BIOS recognized it and when he booted up into windows it sowed all 32GB available. Wow, THANKS DELL. I guess the 9010 and 7010 Optiplexes are basically the same computer with only some minor changes in the chipset or featured software options.
 

folklorner79

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Sep 22, 2013
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Right but another question would be, will this setup work and be recognized in Linux? I don't see why it should be a problem. Computers are supposed to be smart and recognize the hardware that's made for them. I don't see what the software choice should have anything to do with it.

 

folklorner79

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Sep 22, 2013
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I found this page on dell's website: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19465534

It explains the same dilemma. I have been going back and forth by email with some offshore Dell "technical support" rep for the past two weeks and she still can't give me a strait answer on the issue. In fact she changed her mind from the beginning when she said that the 7010 could take 32GB but now is insisting that it can actually only take 16GB. What a joke.

I think all Dell is interested in is covering their own backside after keeping the facts hidden during an original covert style marketing strategy of the 7010 versus the Optiplex 9010. As far as I can tell, the 9010 and 7010 appear to be essentially the same computer but with a different model number. I think they are the same thing but they were labeled differently for different groups of customers (targeted audience). I saw somebody suggest that at the above link. Seems like a really plausible explanation to me.

I'm planning to eventually upgrade my computer to 32 gigs, so we'll see what happens. I will report back to this page once I have an answer. I also plan to partition install Linux on half the hard drive so we'll also see if it recognizes all 32 GB's. I don't see why that should be a problem.
 

ryenn

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Aug 24, 2017
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